by Toni Crosby
One of the most challenging and fulfilling ministries at Revive is that of prayer. It sounds pretty elemental on the surface – all Christians pray, right? But for prayer to be effective, it takes effort and diligence. The Bible is the instruction book on prayer! A few examples:
- Deuteronomy 4:7 – the Lord is near to us when we pray.
- Proverbs 15 – the prayers of the righteous please God and are heard by him.
- Matthew 5 and 6 – Jesus’ recipe for effective prayer.
- Philippians 4:6 – we are to bring everything to God by prayer and petition.
- 1 Thessalonians – we are to be continually in prayer.
- James 5 – a pattern of prayer for healing and forgiveness.
- There are challenges in a life of prayer. Being a Christian is the first step in communicating with God.
Being diligent in prayer requires sacrifice. When you tell someone you will be praying for them, be prepared to do it! Not just a quick few words, soon forgotten. Sometimes fasting is required – giving up food can be a real challenge!
Jesus taught by example – He was in constant communication with His Father through prayer. He received comfort, reassurance and instruction as He sought the Father’s will. That’s where He got the courage to fulfill His ministry, all the way to His death on the cross. He wasn’t ashamed to ask for what He needed, for himself, and for others.
Jesus used scripture references when he prayed. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 to Satan as he was being tempted. Isaiah 55:11 assures us that when we pray God’s word, it will not return to him empty, and that it accomplishes what he purposes.
So, in order to pray God’s word to him, we have to know God’s word. That takes daily Bible reading. Devotional books such as Our Daily Bread also help reinforce the scriptures. The Bible Promise book contains scriptures for every need. Memorizing scriptures helps you remember them when you need them. Knowing the scriptures helps us to understand what God thinks and expects.
An effective prayer life is truly rewarding. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with the heartfelt needs of people and situations, and to witness answered prayers. You become a Christian prayer warrior standing in the gap between God and the world.
Opportunities abound for prayer at Revive. Team Members take turns praying during every church service. We also participate in prayer walks, community prayer efforts, special prayer emphasis and email prayer chains – whenever prayer is needed, we’re on it!
If you’re up to the Prayer Challenge, let Pastor Brock or me know and we’ll get you involved!